Seven ways to end toddler bedtime battles
Are you battling bedtime with your toddlers almost every day? Did you know, humans are the only mammals that put off going to sleep? Bedtime with your toddlers doesn’t have to be challenging though, if you reframe the way bedtime is perceived by them. Learn how to get kids to sleep easily and make putting your babies to bed an enjoyable experience.
It’s a nice treat when children sleep early or on time, as parenting all day can take a lot of energy. So once the kids are in bed, it’s time for the parents to wind down, recharge and feel relaxed to tackle the next day.
If your child is particularly difficult to put to bed, then it can be tough on you, as your patience is running thin, frustrations are high, and everyone begins to feel tired of the same battling routine each day.
How to Get Kids to Sleep: End Bedtime Battles
You can try making bedtime more fun for the whole family by trying some unique ways to put toddlers to sleep. The key is to create a calm routine, where everyone can feel peaceful and rewarded for behaving.
Here are 7 tips to end bedtime battles and make the night-time routine enjoyable for the whole family:
How to Get Toddlers to Sleep Tip #1. Dark, Quiet Calm atmosphere
Dimming the lights after the evening meal will help your family wind down from their busy day. Did you know, the non-natural lighting that most homes have can be disruptive to our natural rhythms. Lower light helps to stimulate the creation of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Keep the lights low while the children take their bath and go through their bedtime routine. Begin to communicate in whispers with them to show that we are all trying to stay quiet and calm.
How to Get Toddlers to Sleep Tip #2. Treat sleep as a reward, not a punishment
Parents can sometimes make bedtime seem like a punishment rather than a reward. Especially when we use vocabulary like, you’re going to bed if you don’t behave. Use bedtime as a reward instead, and particularly the routine that precedes bedtime. Look forward to the story time, or imagination time before bed and this can be something you especially plan together, which in turn will help your baby look forward to bedtime.
How to Get Toddlers to Sleep #3. Create a routine for bedtime and a sticker chart
Make bedtime a routine and maybe even go one step further and create a sticker chart for your children to stick on if they complete certain good behaviour tasks it each week? Creating a bedtime routine for children can take the pressure out of bedtime for both the parents and the child. Kids need and succeed on structure, as it gives them a sense of care and security.
It’s wise to begin the bedtime routine with a wind down session that begins 30 minutes before their actual bedtime routine starts. This can include playing relaxing music, dimming lights, talking quietly, and brushing the teeth. All these steps are signals that your child will assume that bedtime is nearing.
Here is an example of a child’s bedtime routine you can try out:
- A relaxing bath and time for pyjamas
- Brushing their teeth
- Story time in bed
- Goodnight hugs
- 10 minutes silence with eyes closed
How to Get Toddlers to Sleep #4. Create a sleep-inducing atmosphere
Create a perfect sleeping environment. Your child’s room should help encourage sleeping. It’s a good idea to keep their room dark, quiet, and cool. Some children might want a nightlight or a dim light which is fine.
How to Get Toddlers to Sleep #5. No screen time in the bedroom
The best thing to do for children who struggle with bedtime is to keep electronics out of bedroom. Take away televisions, computers, games, and other electronic devices from their rooms as these can promote staying awake. Make a rule that electronics are to be used between certain times and that does not include an hour before bedtime.
How to Get Toddlers to Sleep #6. Exercise during the day
Make sure your children are using up energy during the day by getting consistent exercise. It’s important that your children get adequate amount of exercise during the day which will help them feel tired quicker at night. It’s also a good idea to ensure you keep their last playtime at least 2 hours before bedtime or they may still be too giddy to fall asleep.
How to Get Toddlers to Sleep #7. Avoid meals that make kids hyper
Avoid meals that don’t promote sleep and caffeine before bedtime. If you do allow your child the occasional soft drink, make sure that they don’t have any drinks containing sugar and caffeine within 3 hours of bedtime. Snacks are fine before bedtime if they’re healthy and easy to digest. If your child asks for a food or drink before bedtime give them a warm glass of milk, or a light snack such as nuts, or fruit.
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